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In-Home Care, Adult Daycare or Nursing Home: Making the Right Choice

As loving and caring as any spouse, adult child or other family member can be for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, there comes a time when they will need to find additional support services.

There are options to choose from though, and it might be hiring someone to provide in-home assistance, taking them to an adult daycare regularly or finding a nursing home where they can live instead. The right place or service will depend on the stage or type of dementia, as well as the costs and quality of facilities or staff.

The Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org) provides detailed outlines of the different types of care to consider when the situation becomes overwhelming or the disease advances to a point where more professional care is needed.

In-home care assistance, or respite care, can include everything from someone who can come in and tend to personal hygiene for your loved one to supervising activities and medications. These services can also help with household chores that you can no longer manage.

Adult daycare offers a safe environment with planned activities, including meals and sometimes transportation. Choosing an adult daycare can be like selecting a nursing home, and you should be prepared to interview them about the staff, programs, how emergencies are handled and other important issues.

Nursing homes provide long-term care and may have special units just for a population with dementia. It is recommended that families research residential care far in advance and with great attention to detail, in part because of the high cost of these services.

The Alzheimer’s Association offers a free booklet, “Carefinder,” that outlines every angle to consider when finding professional care services for a loved one with dementia. The brochure includes checklists of things to ask and look for in facilities, licensing by state and federal government, and also provides a chart of what insurance might cover.